Story by Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
THE Zimbabwe national rugby team will be making their return to South Africa’s Currie Cup first division competition that will run under the name ‘Mzansi Challenge,’ where they are set to face Leopards on the 25th of March in their first match.
After failing to qualify for the 2023 World Cup, Zimbabwe Rugby Union has started preparing for the next global showpiece after announcing that Zimbabwe will once again be playing in the Currie Cup first division.
Zimbabwe will play under the banner, Goshawks as they are looking at developing younger players for the 2027 World Cup but will once again be under the guidance of national coach, Brendan Dawson.
Former national team captain Costa Dinha has been roped in as an assistant forward and is expected to bring in continuity as he is also part of the Junior Sables technical team.
Another former national team player, TJ Chifikoyo is now the team manager as he takes over from Jason Maritz who resigned last year.
The Goshawks will be joined by three other international teams; the Diables from Spain, Kenyan Simbas and Windhoek Draught Welwitschias from Namibia.
The four teams will be joined by six South African provincial teams; Leopards, Falcons, Boland Kavaliers, Eastern Province, Border Bulldogs and SWD Eagles.
All 10 teams will contest the Mzanzi Challenge in a single-round format which includes a semi-final and a final match during the 14-week period, with the final set for mid-June.
Local fans will have the chance to witness the action at home as five matches will be played at home, while the others will be played in South Africa.
The Goshawks are set to go into camp on the 8th of March.